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By Annaliese Bennett

“It was never about the art; it was always about how you looked while creating it.”

A while back, I decided to purge some of the seemingly endless notes I’ve accumulated on my phone. I’ve developed a habit in recent years of using my notes app as a catch-all for everything from grocery lists to a space where I jot down random thoughts and musings. This simple little reminder caught my eye during my scrolling, inviting me to consider its enduring relevance.
The memo came from a time in my life early last year when I was questioning what I truly enjoy while trying to identify what really brings me joy. I started digging deeper to understand the motivations behind why I was pushing myself towards certain things, contemplating whether these decisions were coming from a place of authenticity or were a product of my surroundings.
At the time, this was born from a desire to understand the disconnect I felt from the classes and career path I was pursuing and my expectations of what I thought my experience would be like. Did I really enjoy my financial accounting class or did I just like the adrenaline rush I got from the idea of pursuing a career in the corporate business world? Did I actually enjoy the case studies for my economics class or was I just enamored with the satisfied feeling of walking through the business school? This internal dialogue was what eventually led me to the decision to change my major and pursue a career where I could produce work I was actually passionate and confident about, instead of staying stuck in the tunnel vision of trying to maintain a certain persona.
It’s easy to get caught up in our ideas about who we think we should be and the image we want to project to the world. Delving into whether certain decisions were the product of external influences instead of our own originality is uncomfortable and it can be hard to admit when you may have let authenticity take the back seat. But it’s a conversation I’ve found necessary to have with myself from time to time to better understand my place in the world.
Through being intentional with our actions, words, and thoughts, we can keep our ego in check and start to connect with others more genuinely. Getting specific about the “why” behind the creation allows for a certain level of self-awareness that filters out the internal noise.
little word studio founder Melissa Kandel’s recent exploration of intentionality contemplates how choosing our words with this renewed sense of purpose can be the difference between writing that ignites a spark in someone and words that simply fall flat. Content creation just for the sake of content will eventually develop an off-putting emptiness. By refining our message through this process of questioning ourselves every step of the way, we can tell stories that resonate with others beyond the superficial.
When we implement intentionality in our writing, a resounding sense of purpose is translated across all areas of our lives. If we want to create an existence that aligns with our most genuine selves, we need to constantly challenge whether the actions we take and words we use are moving us there or getting drowned out along the way.

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